The stone with an inscription (Zech 3:9-3:10)

“‘I will engrave

Its inscription.

On the stone

That I have set

Before Joshua,

On a single stone

With seven facets.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘I will remove

The guilt of this land

In a single day.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘On that day,

You shall invite each other

To come

Under your vine,

Under your fig tree.’”

Yahweh was going to set up a stone with a single inscription on it but with 7 facets or 7 eyes.  Was this the priesthood of the new Temple?  Yahweh was going to take away the guilt of their land in a single day.  On that day, everyone would sit around talking to their friends and neighbors under their cultivated vines and fig trees.

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The punishment for Samaria (Hos 13:15-13:16)

“Although he may flourish

Among the rushes of reed plants,

The east wind shall come,

A blast from Yahweh.

It will rise

From the wilderness.

His fountain

Shall dry up.

His spring

Shall be parched.

It shall strip

His treasury

Of every precious thing.

Samaria shall bear

Her guilt.

Because she has rebelled

Against her God.

They shall fall

By the sword.

Their little ones

Shall be dashed

In pieces.

Their pregnant women

Shall be ripped open.”

This is very strong criticism of Samaria, the capital city of the northern Israelite kingdom. It might flourish now, but the deadly east wind of Yahweh will come from the wilderness. Its fountains and springs will dry up and be parched. It will lose all the precious things of its treasury. Samaria will have to carry the guilt, because it rebelled against God. It will fall by the sword or die. Its little children will be broken into little pieces. Its pregnant women will have their pregnancies terminated by ripping open their wombs. This will be a bad time for Samaria.

The explanation of Yahweh about this killing (Ezek 9:8-9:10)

“While they were killing,

I was left alone.

I fell prostrate

On my face.

I cried.

‘Ah Yahweh God!

Will you destroy

All who remain

Of Israel

As you pour out

Your wrath

Upon Jerusalem?’

Then he said to me.

‘The guilt

Of the house of Israel

As well as

The house of Judah

Is exceedingly great.

The land is full

Of bloodshed.

The city is full

Of perversity.’

They say.

‘Yahweh has forsaken

The land.

Yahweh does not see.’

As for me,

My eye will not spare.

I will not have pity.

But I will bring down

Their deeds

Upon their heads.’”

Ezekiel was all shook up with all this killing going on. He was alone, so he prostrated his face. He cried to God. He wanted to know if everyone of the remaining Israelites would be destroyed. Would anybody remain in Jerusalem? Then Yahweh explained to him that the guilt of the house of Israel as well as the guilt of the house of Judah was exceedingly great. The land was full of bloodshed. The city was full of perversity. Those remaining had said that Yahweh had forsaken the land. He would not see what they were doing. However, Yahweh was clear. He was not going to spare them or have pity on them. Their own deeds brought this on their heads. Thus the annihilation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem continued.

Future restoration (Jer 33:6-33:9)

“I going to bring

Recovery

With healing.

I will heal them.

I will reveal to them

Abundance of prosperity

With security.

I will restore

The fortunes of Judah,

The fortunes of Israel.

I will rebuild them

As they were at first.

I will cleanse them

From all the guilt

Of their sin

Against me.

I will forgive

All the guilt

Of their sin

With their rebellion

Against me.

This city shall be to me

A name of joy,

A praise,

As well as a glory

Before all the nations

Of the earth.

They shall hear

Of all the good

That I do for them.

They shall fear.

They shall tremble

Because of all the good,

As well as all the prosperity

I provide for it.”

Yahweh was going to heal Israel and Judah. He was going to help the city of Jerusalem to recover. They would have an abundance of prosperity and security in Jerusalem. Both the fortunes of the towns in Judah and among the northern Israelites would be rebuilt for them like it used to be. Yahweh was going to cleanse them from the guilt of all their sins against him. He was going to forgive their rebellion against him. Jerusalem would become a name of joy, praise, and glory for the whole world to see. Everyone would know about Jerusalem and the good that Yahweh had done for them. In fact, they would tremble and fear at all the good prosperity that he had provided for them. There were great days ahead.

The prayer of Jeremiah to the all powerful God (Jer 32:17-32:19)

“O Lord God!

It is you!

You made the heavens!

You made the earth!

By your great power!

By your outstretched arm!

Nothing is too hard for you!

You show steadfast love

To the thousandth generation.

But you repay

The guilt of parents

Into the laps of their children

After them.

O great mighty God!

Your name is Yahweh of hosts!

You are great in counsel!

You are mighty in deeds!

Your eyes are open

To all the ways of mortals!

You reward all

According to their ways,

According to the fruit

Of their doings!”

Jeremiah’s prays to an all powerful God, who has made heaven and earth by his potent outstretched hand. There is nothing too hard for God to do. God’s love lasts over 1,000 generations. However, he repays the guilt of the parents by putting it into the laps of their children, who come after them. Yahweh of hosts is the name of this God, who is great and mighty in deeds. He gives counsel, as his eyes are open to the various ways of mortals. He rewards humans according to their ways and the fruit of their actions.

The great pain and hurt (Jer 30:12-30:15)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Your hurt is incurable!

Your wound is grievous!

There is no one

To uphold your cause!

There is no medicine

For your wound!

There is no healing for you.

All your lovers

Have forgotten you.

They care nothing for you.

I have dealt you

The blow of an enemy,

The punishment

Of a merciless foe,

Because your guilt is great,

Because your sins

Are so numerous.

Why do you cry out

Over your hurt?

Your pain is incurable.

Because your guilt is great,

Because your sins

Are so numerous.

I have done these things to you.’”

Yahweh says that the Israelites are in great pain. They have a serious incurable wound that will not heal. There is no medicine available to help them. There is no one who will defend them in court. All their lovers have forgotten about them. Yahweh has helped their enemies deliver a severe blow. Yahweh repeats himself twice saying that the guilt of the Israelites is very great and numerous.   They should stop crying about their terrible pains. Yahweh has done all to this to them. Just cry out to Yahweh and forget all the other stuff.

Jacob will be forgiven (Isa 27:6-27:9)

“In days to come,

Jacob shall take root.

Israel shall blossom.

Israel shall put forth shoots.

They will fill the whole world

With fruit.

Has he struck them down

As he struck those

Who struck them?

Or have they been killed

As their killers

Were killed?

By expulsion,

By exile,

You struggled against them.

He removed them

With his fierce blast

In the day of the east wind.

Therefore by this

The guilt of Jacob will be expiated.

This will be the full fruit

Of the removal of his sin.

When he makes all the stones of the altars

Like chalkstones

Crushed to pieces.

No sacred poles will remain standing.

No incense altars will remain standing.”

In some future date, not specified, Jacob or Israel will take root and blossom with many sprouts so that its fruits will be all over the world. Yahweh has struck down and killed those who had struck and killed the Israelites. Thus this appears to be a post-exilic comment. However, the punishment for Israel had been merely banishment or exile via the powerful wind of the Near Eastern powers. That punishment was enough for them to remove the guilt of their sins. Now, however, he was going to remove all those sacred poles and stone altars of incense to the false idol gods. These worship places were to be crushed to pieces like stones or chalk.